Matt Buedel Journal Star Caterpillar/industry reporter @journobuedel
PEORIA — The Columbus Day meeting was otherwise ordinary. As Mitch Tobias began to present to his fellow Caterpillar Inc. team members, Mark Whiting leaned back in his chair and began snoring.
The Construction Technology and Services topic was routine, one Whiting had been bored over before, and they thought he was joking again.
In reality, the 49-year-old had gone into cardiac arrest as the result of a previously undetected genetic condition.
“We didn’t see it coming,” Tobias said Monday as he and six other Caterpillar employees were recognized by Advanced Medical Transport for the life saving effort that ensued. “It was very normal. We were in mid-conversation and things changed quickly.”
For the next slow-motion moments at an offsite meeting facility across the street from Caterpillar world headquarters, Tobias and the others — Allen DeClerk, Troy Arrington, …